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Heart Attack

Home >> Our Specialities >> Emergency Medicine >> Conditions Treatments >> Heart Attack

Clinical Directorate

Overview

A heart attack (Myocardial Infarction (MI) or Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI)) is the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart which causes heart cells to die. It generally occurs when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. The blood clot that causes the heart attack usually forms at the site of rupture of a hardened artery, cholesterol plaque on the inner wall of a coronary artery. The most common symptom of heart attack is chest pain.

Signs and Symptoms

It is a medical emergency and should be treated as soon as possible. The symptoms of a heart attack are:

  • Chest pain
  • Bad indigestion
  • Anxiety
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating, which may be very heavy

Causes

A heart attack is caused by:

  • Blood platelets stick to tears in the plaque and form a blood clot that blocks blood from flowing to the heart
  • After a sudden increase in physical activity
  • Activity outside in cold weather
  • Sudden emotional or physical stress, including an illness